ST. MARY'S School in cooperation with its Parents-Teachers Association will present its annual play "Annie" on February 12 and 13 at the Rodelsa Hall of Liceo Cagayan University, a well-known venue in the city for quality performing arts production.

"Annie" is a popular Broadway musical based on a book by Thomas Meehan with music and lyrics by Charles Strouse and Martin Charmin. It tells of the story of a plucky red-haired girl who dreams of life outside the dreary orphanage during the depression years of the 30's in New York.

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One day, Annie is chosen to stay for a week with the famous billionaire businessman "Daddy" Warbucks who opens his home - and heart - to Annie.

One week turns into many, and the only person standing in the way of Annie's happiness is the alcoholic and tyrannical matron of the orphanage, Ms. Hannigan.

Annie and all the other orphans suffer the trauma of enslavement and loneliness. But despite this, they never lose hope for a happy and bright "tomorrow".

Two musically-gifted 12-year-old grade schoolers, Jewel Tomolin and Caitlin Diana, play the role of Annie and sing beautifully the most unforgettable song, "Tomorrow".

The other orphans are played by Vida Agudo, Lyselle Desquitado, Ella May Figura, Krizia Garces, Chrissa Guico, Frances Mercado, Lindsay Nisperos, Khyle Nota Khiela Vallejos and Julliene Mendoza who, together with the character of Annie, sing and dance very dramatically "It's a Hard Knock Life."

The self-assured, middle-aged billionaire Oliver Warbucks, a very challenging role for a high school student, is played by Nico Roa and Armin Narciso.

Miss Hannigan's role that demands an excellent sense of comic timing will be played by Abigail Linog and Ina Lagamon while Andie Ludena and Sarah Namoc take the role of Grace, the "classy" with angelic voice secretary of Mr. Warbucks.

The "smooth" gambler, Rooster, and the lady tramp Lily are played by Raffy Rosales and JR Macandili and Tingting Jamero and Paola Arandil, respectively. All four are vocally and visually strong performers.

"Annie" is directed by Professor Glenn Reyes. Cast and crew numbering close to 70 work rigorously under the care and supervision of their talented teachers, Ms. Czarrina Cucueco (assistant director), Ms. Jennifer Silan (production manager) and Mr. Nino Tiro (musical director).

Now on its 23rd year of service to the community, St. Mary's School takes pride in its personalized system of education, a unique and innovative pedagogical system that emphasizes not only academic excellence and character formation but also the development of the students' multiple intelligences.

The Theater Program has been considered a trademark of St. Mary's School through the years, with its successful production of annual plays made possible through the collaborative effort of the parents, tea-chers and students.

Among the musical plays already produced by St. Mary's School are "Man of La Mancha" (1998), " Les Miserables" (2000), "Godspell" (2002), "One Voice" (2003), "The Fantasticks" (2004), "Fiddler on the Roof" (2005), " The Sound of Music," (2006), " Once on This Island," (2007), " The Wiz" (2008) and "Flower Drum Song" (2009).

St. Mary's School admi-nistrators, headed by Dr. Marilou P. Costello as school president, and Atty. Emmanuel B. Palabrica as school director, have pledged to continue to upgrade not only its facilities but also its academic and community outreach programs.

Through its scholarship program, the Dr. Michael A. Costello Scholarship Foundation, the school hopes to continue to provide access to quality education to financially disadvantaged but academically deserving students, especially the graduates of public elementary schools.

This year, "Annie" is again designed for educational and outreach purposes as proceeds will be used mainly to augment the school's scho-larship foundation. (PR)